Locked

The big migration

Oct
7
2011

Erik

The-big-migration So as you may have seen on Twitter my name change finally went through and now my name is Erik Rålenius Yverling or just Erik R. Yverling.

Due to this name change I had, well let's say I preferred, to update every references to my name on the web. This is how it went:

My web site
So the first thing I did was to buy the yverling.se domain name from my provider Loopia. Then I made yverling and *.yverling.se the A DNS record pointing to my web server. Then I made and my other domains, such as erik.ralenius.se, point to erik.r.yverling.se. This was a no brainer and took only a couple of days. Woohoo!

My Gmail account
The next thing to do was to create a new Gmail account for my new name. Then I had to copy all my existing email in my old Gmail account to my new. As the Gmail web client didn't have any export functionality built in this have to be done using a desktop email client, such as Thunderbird. I created two accounts, one for my new and one for my old e mail accounts and simply dragged my labels (mapped as folders on the Gmail server) to my new Gmail account. This of cource took a while (~5000 emails), but I got them all migrated. Meh!

My email alias
I created an email alias from Loopia pointing to my new Gmail address using the @yverling.se domain. This was no problemo. Woohoo!

Google Maps
The biggest hassle here was to migrate all my starred places (150+). Unfortunately, there were no way export these so I have to add them manually. DOH!

Google Reader and Google Listen
Thanks to the great export to OPML function, migrating all my precious RSS-feeds and Google Listen subscriptions (podcasts) was done in a couple of seconds. Woohoo!

Google Latitude
There were no way to export your Latitude friends, so I had to do it manually. Then there was some kind of export of your Latitude history, but that export was only for one day. Doh!

Google tasks
Also here there were no good way to export your tasks. The only way to do it was to email every single task list (I have around 10 or so) and then cut and paste every single task list and tab separate each task. Doh!

Google docs
By sharing all my owned documents with my new Google Account and then changing the owner to my new account migrating docs could be done without too much hassle. The bad part was that every documents update time changed, which made at least one of my friends kind of grumpy. Meh!

Calendar
Exporting calenders was easy using the ical format. Woohoo!

Google+
As I suspected, Google+ was hard glued to your Google Account which made it impossible to migrate in any good way. So there was a lot of copying and pasting. Doh!

YouTube
Apparently, there was a time where you could change your Gmail address of your YouTube account. Well, not any more. Subscriptions and favorites had to be added manually. Doh!

Android
This was one of the most annoying thing to find out. To change the main Google Account I actually had to factory reset my phone (!). Why Google? DOH!

Twitter
I thought that I had to create a new Twitter account if I wanted to use another username, but surprisingly both changing my email address and username was a piece of cake. WOOHOO!

Then there was a bunch of other services where I could change my display name and email address in a fairly easy way. Woohoo!


TOTAL
So the final result of the migration was 6 Woohoo's 6 Doh's and 2 Meh's.
So... if you know an easier way to migrate the things mentioned above, please let me know.

Well, all I have to do now is to change the name on my drivers licence, passport, bank card...

Skype on Arch 64-bit

Sep
18
2011

Linux

I was having some trouble getting Skype to work on my Arch Linux x86_64 machine, but I manged to get it sorted out. Here is how I solved it:
yaourt -S bin32-skype

then when trying to run it I got the error message
skype: error while loading shared libraries: libXv.so.1: wrong ELF class: \\
ELFCLASS64

To see which libraries were missing I used the command
ldd /usr/bin/skype | grep not

which returned
libXv.so.1 => not found
libXss.so.1 => not found

Aha! So I then installed these with Yaourt
yaourt -S lib32-libxv lib32-libxss

and voilá, Skype is running natively!

Deploy Apache vhost

Aug
1
2011

Deployment Ruby

I have been using the Ruby based deployment tool Capistrano for a while now to handle deployment of both for my Rails projects and also Java projects, and I really enjoy the power and simplicity that it provides.

One thing I was missing was a way to deploy Apache configuration files, which are usually changed frequently, to web servers insted of doing it manually. This is how I solved it:
# Interactions with the Apache server
namespace :apache do
task :deploy, :roles => :web do
# Overwrite the current configuration file with the one from Subversion
run "wget http:// subversion.my_host.com/my_vhost.conf \\
-O /etc/httpd/conf.d/my_vhost.conf"

# Change ServerName to the current server name
run "sed -i \'s/ServerName.*$/ServerName $CAPISTRANO:HOST$/g' \\
/etc/httpd/conf.d/my_vhost.conf"

apache.reload
end

[:stop, :start, :restart, :reload].each do |action]
task action, :roles => :web do
sudo "/etc/init.d/httpd #{action.to_s}"
end
end
end

To deploy the latest configuration file, just execute
cap apache:deploy

in your terminal.

Don't forget to assign your web server(s) the web role. For example
role :web, "web1.my_host.com", :no_release => true

The no_release attribute is used on other tasks that you do not want to be executed on your web server(s), such as deployment of application files. For example:
namespace :deploy do
task :check, :except => { :no_release => true } do
[...]

This solution can of course be developed further to handle different SCM paths for production (usually tags), test and development (usually the trunk) versions of the configuration file as well as handling multiple configuration files.

Observe that this solution will overwrite the current configuration file on the web server with the one from the SCM. Thus, you should not change the configuration file manually on the web server(s), but always checking in the change to your SCM and deploy it from Capistrano.

You could of course modify the solution to take a backup of the file, but as long as you always change the file by using Capistrano, there should no need for this. Besides, always having the latest configuration file in the SCM is generally a wise idea.

Gnome 3

Jul
18
2011

Linux

Gnome-3 Like most Linux users I like to experiment with different distributions, window managers, terminals and so on.
Back in 2005 when I first start to use Linux as my primary desktop, I ran Gnome 2 on my Ubuntu 5.04, as it was included as default. When Compiz then came along I was very excited by its cool 3D effects and spent hours on getting it to run and behave as I liked.
Then later on I was curious to try something else. I glanced a bit at KDE, but found it to be (and still does) too cluttred and glossy.
I then ran FluxBox and OpenBox for a while and was pleased by its simplicity, but missed the 3D effects provided by Compiz.
Then I turned to Xfce as it was more lightweigth than Gnome 2, but was compatible with Compiz. Since then I have been running Xfce/Compiz for some time now.
However, when I read about the all new and shiny Gnome 3 I saw that it has start to combine the elements I like both from Xfce and Compiz.

So after running Gnome 3 for a couple of days this is what I think:

Pros
  • The structure of the new Gnome Shell is very nice and simplistic. The overview and desktop search functionality gives you easy access to all your programs and windows
  • The clock and build in integration with the calendar in the status bar is awesome and gives you a good overview of the current schedule
  • The vertical tiling functionality of windows (á la Window 7) is also something I been missing in Linux. Nice!
  • The GUI feels overall very responsive and stable


Cons
  • Settings dialogs! Hey, I love my terminal, but sometimes you just want a rich settings interface with nice buttons and sliders instead of hacking a bunch of text files that you have to find first. This is certainly the biggest flaw of Gnome 3. The so called Gnome Control Center contains far too few settings to please a power user like me. This comes like a bit of a surprise as Gnome 2 had a very rich settings manager. Well, I hope new settings will be added continuously to give the user more control (and we all love control, don't we?)
  • Poor selection of extensions. This does of course also have to to with the maturity of Gnome 3 and I am sure that more will come along
  • Coming from "the desktop cube" world of Compiz and not being able to use horizontal vertical desktops creates a bit of annoyance


Overall, Gnome 3 has a high potential and I will continue to use it and is hoping for new exciting features and improvements soon. But for now Gnome 3 is a bit as Chrome was in the beginning stable but lacking of extensions and configuration.

In my ears

Jun
19
2011

Podcasts

I like to listen to podcasts when I'm traveling to work as it's an efficient way to shield yourself against annoying passengers and meanwhile enjoy the latest tech news.

Some of my favorite podcasts are:

  • Slashat - A general tech news podcast in Swedish hosted by two "goa gubbar"
  • This Week in Tech - The best tech news show of them all featuring some of the most influential and interesting people in the tech world
  • FLOSS Weekly - Also a news show, but a bit more of a themed show bringing in interesting guests to talk about their FLOSS project
  • The Basment coders - The latest show in my podcast collection. This show is focused primary on Java development and the Java community. My cup of tea!